Fans display a gigantic national flag during the celebration
San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 22, 2016 – Puerto Rican coach Juan Carlos Nuñez said the credit for the historic Olympic qualification achieved by the women’s volleyball national team belong to all the coaches who preceded him and worked hard to put the team on the right way.
“Today, 22nd of May will go to the history of the sport in Puerto Rico and the credit goes to all the coaches and support personnel who worked in favor of this achievement, this feat,” said Nuñez during the post-game press conference following the victory over Kenya in straight sets.
Juan Carlos Núñez, coach of Puerto Rico: We are more than pleased. We have waited for these moments since long time but finally we got an Olympic qualification. The players worked hard and showed their experience and desire. They did it in front of their people. I am especially happy for those who navigated since 2002. Their sacrifice and dedication paid off.
On the plans for the next days
We are going to stop for the next three days to give the players a break because it has been two weeks of hard work. We start again on Thursday and leave to Poland on Monday. We will be away for three weeks in the Grand Prix and if we advance then have to go to Bulgaria. Now we have to act as Olympians. While I am at the coaching position I will continue pushing. Everybody have to sweat in there.
Yarimar Rosa, captain of Puerto Rico: I am short of words to describe my feelings. After so many years to achieve the goal of reaching the Olympics is the dream of every athlete. I am very glad for our people and all the difficulties they are going through in Puerto Rico. We gave the people something to feel happy about. Kenya did a good job and it was a very intense match, especially in the second set. We have made history and I feel very proud of my team.
Karina Ocasio, Puerto Rican player: Many of us wanted to leave with this kind of achievement and nothing better than doing at home and in front of a full house. I still can’t appreciate what we have done. This is a personal and team achievement. We did it at home. I am going to retire from the national team after Rio. I have a daughter and I want to dedicate quality time to raise her.
Vilmarie Mojica, setter of Puerto Rico: I have cried a lot. It is a dream coming true. I am so happy because the dream came true at home with our families. I have prayed a lot to the Lord for this and He gave it to me and my team. I want to dedicate the victory and the qualification to my parents who couldn’t be here today and to all the loyal fans of our team.
Puerto Rico bt Kenya 3-0 (25-8, 25-23, 25-15)Colombia bt Algeria 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-18)Puerto Rico bt Colombia 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-18)Kenya bt Algeria 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-16)Puerto Rico bt Algeria 3-0 (25-10, 25-11, 25-12)